The next Research Showcase will be live-streamed this Wednesday, September
21, 2016 at 11:30 AM (PST) 18:30 (UTC).
YouTube stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTDkVeqjw80
As usual, you can join the conversation on IRC at #wikimedia-research. And,
you can watch our past research showcases here
This month's showcase includes.
Finding News Citations for WikipediaBy *Besnik Fetahu
<http://www.l3s.de/~fetahu/> (Leibniz University of Hannover)*An important
editing policy in Wikipedia is to provide citations for added statements in
Wikipedia pages, where statements can be arbitrary pieces of text, ranging
from a sentence to a paragraph. In many cases citations are either outdated
or missing altogether. In this work we address the problem of finding and
updating news citations for statements in entity pages. We propose a two-
stage supervised approach for this problem. In the first step, we construct
a classifier to find out whether statements need a news citation or other
kinds of citations (web, book, journal, etc.). In the second step, we
develop a news citation algorithm for Wikipedia statements, which
recommends appropriate citations from a given news collection. Apart from
IR techniques that use the statement to query the news collection, we also
formalize three properties of an appropriate citation, namely: (i) the
citation should entail the Wikipedia statement, (ii) the statement should
be central to the citation, and (iii) the citation should be from an
authoritative source. We perform an extensive evaluation of both steps,
using 20 million articles from a real-world news collection. Our results
are quite promising, and show that we can perform this task with high
precision and at scale.
Designing and Building Online Discussion SystemsBy *Amy X. Zhang
<http://people.csail.mit.edu/axz/> (MIT)*Today, conversations are
everywhere on the Internet and come in many different forms. However, there
are still many problems with discussion interfaces today. In my talk, I
will first give an overview of some of the problems with discussion
systems, including difficulty dealing with large scales, which exacerbates
additional problems with navigating deep threads containing lots of
back-and-forth and getting an overall summary of a discussion. Other
problems include dealing with moderation and harassment in discussion
systems and gaining control over filtering, customization, and means of
access. Then I will focus on a few projects I am working on in this space
now. The first is Wikum, a system I developed to allow users to
collaboratively generate a wiki-like summary from threaded discussion. The
second, which I have just begun, is exploring the design space of
presentation and navigation of threaded discussion. I will next discuss
Murmur, a mailing list hybrid system we have built to implement and test
ideas around filtering, customization, and flexibility of access, as well
as combating harassment. Finally, I'll wrap up with what I am working on at
Google Research this summer: developing a taxonomy to describe online forum
discussion and using this information to extract meaningful content useful
for search, summarization of discussions, and characterization of
Hope to see you there!
Sarah R. Rodlund
Senior Project Coordinator-Engineering, Wikimedia Foundation
I am writing to let you know of transition plans at Cascadia Wikimedians.
Over the next few months, my Cascadia officer responsibilities will
transfer to Peaceray and Brianhe, who are already Cascadia officers and are
members of the Affiliates mailing list. I plan to resign my Cascadia
officer and board roles sometime around November. I will remain active in
the Wikimedia community and with Cascadia Wikimedians, but for the
forseeable future I need to focus on activities other than affiliate board
and officer work. Peaceray and Brianhe are well aligned with the Cascadia
Wikimedians mission, and I am grateful for their willingness to accept
Cascadia's annual meeting will likely happen in December, and it is
possible that there will be further leadership transitions at that time in
the normal course of business.
*TL:DR: The Community Engagement department invites you to participate in
the Leadership Development Dialogue now through October 16th .*
One of the really valuable parts of our community, is the growing number of
volunteers who step beyond their comfort zone, and become guides, mentors,
and leaders for other parts of the volunteer community. This act of
emerging, to take on responsibilities that strengthen our community is
widespread, but also something that we need to embrace, refine and improve,
so that we have the capacity to meet our broader mission.
>From now through October 16th, the Community Engagement department invites
you to participate in an online dialogue about just how to describe and
build the leadership capacity. Please invite all who may be interested by
forwarding to your local community mailing lists, and be sure to join us
In particular, we need your help:
Improving the “Learning Days” and other leadership development programs
supported by the WMF and other organizations
Refining the language and concepts we use to describe “leadership” -- in
our initial exploratory engagement of focus groups, we found that the word
“leader” does not translate well across language and cultures.
In behalf of the Community Engagement department, we hope to see you on the
*María Cruz * \\ Communications and Outreach Coordinator, L&E Team \\
mcruz(a)wikimedia.org | Twitter: @marianarra_
As a follow-up to my posting yesterday, I have received a response from WMF
staff at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/2016-2017 which states
"We know that a common challenge for strategy and vision development work
is that people everywhere have a tendency to frame their thinking through
their current circumstances. We are open to ideas on how to challenge that
tendency so we can expand the scope of creative ideas we receive - it will
be essential to both developing ideas that will move us forward, and being
receptive to more the challenging ones." In the absence of any other
designated venue for those ideas and challenges, I suggest the talk page I
refer to for members of the community to discuss lessons learned from
previous consultations and discussions, and to propose ideas for how the
community-wide consultation should be structured.
The page at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/2016-2017 makes it
clear that there are two stages to the strategy consultation being planned
by the WMF: up to December the work is to define the process; from January
the work is to execute that process. It has been a matter of some
disappointment that the process definition is very largely by a closed
consultation with WMF Staff and Board members, which does not seem a good
way of discovering what works well or badly from the point of view of the
Community. Indeed, I posted some comments to that effect at the talk page
I was surprised and disappointed to discover that the response from the WMF
was to add a header to the page stating "*the Wikimedia Foundation staff
will not be able to properly monitor discussions right now" *That reads
to me like a clear snub to the community: their input to the planning of
the consultation is not wanted and will not be heard. It is perhaps
revealing that while the "Listening and Learning" part of the process
concentrates on a narrow set of stakeholders, the "Community Engagement" in
this planning stage is all about talking to the community, not about
engaging with it in any real sense. The people WMF are currently listening
to are people deeply involved in the WMF and the current ways of doing
things, and with a likely predisposition to the continuation of doing the
same things and in the same way. As an explicitly distinct activity, the
notion of engagement with the community in this phase is telling them
things. This is not a model of community engagement; it is not the way to
develop an effective, innovative and engaging process; and it is not the
way to develop a consensus around the results of that process.
Below are some thoughts I have possible themes that can be included in the
strategy update. I'm sharing these in public in case other Wikimedians
would like to discuss strategy.
1. Design experience
Move the design and intuitive ease of use of the Wikimedia user experience
away from a 2000s experience and toward a 2020s experience, both on desktop
and mobile platforms.
2. Social experience
Decrease the frequency and intensity of negative experiences, and increase
the frequency and intensity of positive experiences.
Decentralize the functions currently managed by the Wikimedia Foundation to
reduce dependencies and increase resilience of the Wikimedia projects,
communities, and affiliates. Empower Wikimedia affiliates and the online
communities to be capable of continuing operations, fundraising, and growth
even if WMF becomes incapacitated or corrupted.
Transform WMF and the affiliates into models of open governance and open
culture, particularly concerning Board activities and the use of financial
resources. Make information be public by default rather than private by
default. Proactively publish the expenses and compensation for all
individuals and organizations spending or receiving funds from WMF and
other Wikimedia affiliates. With limited exceptions for discussions for
which there is a strong reason for confidentiality, livestream all Board
and Board committee meetings of WMF, chapters, and thematic organizations.
Acquire adequate financial resources to achieve goals 1 through 4 within
the lifespan of the strategic plan's time horizon.
I look forward to hearing the thoughts of others in the months ahead, both
on Wikimedia-l and on Meta.
Please join us on September 28 at 16:00 UTC to review the research findings
of the New Readers project <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/New_Readers>!
This 1.5 hour presentation will share findings from user research in
Mexico, India, and Nigeria.
Why should you come?
- India, Nigeria, and Mexico represent more than 1.5 billion people,
more than 20% of the world
- Current Wikipedia awareness and usage in these countries is low – less
than 25% of people in Nigeria and India have even heard of Wikipedia
- In pursuit of the Wikimedia vision to make knowledge accessible to
“every single human being”, we aim to better understand users around the
world and meet their real needs
Specifically, we will discuss:
- Information seeking habits
- Internet use, devices, and general knowledge patterns
- Wikipedia awareness and usage
- User personas developed from findings
- Potential next steps and opportunities to better serve New Readers in
Asia, Africa, and Latin America
More details on the project can be found on Meta-Wiki.
Join us on September 28 at 9am PDT / 4pm UTC / 9:30pm IST through our
YouTube stream or with conferencing app BlueJeans.
The next online office hour session of the Wikimedia Language team is
scheduled for next Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 at 13:00 UTC. This
session is going to be an online discussion over Google Hangouts/Youtube
with a simultaneous IRC conversation. Due to the limitation of Google
Hangouts, only a limited number of participation slots are available.
Hence, do please let us know if you would like to join in the Hangout.
This time we will be taking questions from youtube viewers, only on the IRC
channel #wikimedia-office. The channel will be open for interactions during
the session. Questions can also be sent ahead of time to us.
Our last online round-table session was held in June 2016. You can watch
the recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rANCUuJRTE8
Please read below for the event details, including local time, youtube
session link and do let us know if you have any questions.
== Details ==
# Event: Wikimedia Language team's office hour session
# When: September 21, 2016 (Wednesday) at 13:00 UTC (check local time
# Where: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXgMZ7myEA4 and on IRC
Updates from the Language team and Q & A.
Language Engineering Manager
You may have seen my email earlier this week announcing the copyright
strategy—a new effort to improve how we identify, prioritize, and address
copyright issues throughout the Wikimedia movement. (I’ve copied it below,
in case you missed it.)
As part of getting feedback on the strategy and communicating its vision,
goals, and process, the Wikimedia Foundation legal team will be holding an
office hour on IRC:
*Thursday, September 15, 2016. 14:00 UTC (07:00 PDT).*
Please stop by #wikimedia-office at that time to discuss the copyright
strategy and ask any questions you have about it. There are instructions
for participating on Meta:
We have timed the office hour to correspond with when we expect to shift
our focus from meta-discussion about the strategy to following the strategy
and addressing individual copyright issues.
In the meantime, please take a look at the copyright strategy itself, and
feel free to provide feedback on the talk page:
> Hi all,
We on the Wikimedia Foundation Legal Team have been working on creating a
> better and more collaborative process for organizing, streamlining, and
> completing Wikimedia’s copyright-related work. We’d like to hear from you
> about it in the next couple weeks, and then we’d like to work together to
> identify, prioritize, and address copyright issues.
You can read more about the copyright strategy on Meta at
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Copyright_strategy and leave questions and
> comments on the talk page.
Charles M. Roslof
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